Thursday, May 29, 2008

Marion/Harrison Street Prayer walk 5-29-8

We are praying and walking up and down the streets of our city. I am posting these reports of what happens on our evenings of street ministry. I bought a Radio Flyer Wagon to pull along behind us as we walk. That is kind of our trademark for people to recognize us by.

Chris Nord and I went walking and praying tonight in the Marion/Harrison Street neighborhood. Terry Wallin was sick. Melissa Wolfinger was, to man's way of thinking late, but right on time with God's plan. . . more about that later.

Chris and I had a really good evening. We talked with a large number of people all up and down both streets. Many children really like the fliers and the Bible verse cards.

We stopped and talked and prayed with Cigar Bob (This for my Dad, his last name is Smith). He really seemed to enjoy our sitting and chatting with him on his front porch for a while. As old as Cigar Bob is, he had a friend sitting maybe 10 feet away from him, on the other end of the porch, who was even older than Bob. His name was George. All I know is his first name. Bob chews on cigars. George chain smokes cigarettes and doesn't talk much at all unless you speak to him. Bob told us of the events of his week. Still having troubles with his checks and with his shoulder. Bob wanted to know where this church was that we are from and the service times. Bob gets around town somehow. It will not surprise me if he shows up at church. We again anointed him and prayed with him. He greatly appreciates our prayers. I do not rush when sitting on Bob's porch. This is something I've had to learn. There may be a week where that is all I do is just talk to Bob. . .my purpose is not to hand out a certain number of fliers. . . my purpose is to pray and to minister to people as God leads me. There is no greater thing to do, nothing more important than to talk and pray with Bob. . .

I stopped in the little grocery store and bought water for Chris and I and dropped off fliers and Bible verse cards. We've not been hitting the side streets, but the little street the store is on always seems to be full of people, so the past two weeks we've been taking a little detour up that street. I think it's Sixth Street. This week was like the last couple and there were lots of people out to talk to.

Toward the northern end of the street a lone lady was sitting on her porch. We had not seen her before. She was just taking in the evening air and watching the activity of the street. I'm not sure who began talking to her first. It might have been Chris, but this lady was so so very hungry and so in tune with what we had to say, she finished most of our sentences for us, with the very words and scriptures that we were going to use. She told us that not more than an hour ago or so she had been telling a friend who was sitting with her on the porch, that what this neighborhood needed was prayer. The neighborhood needed people to begin praying to bring down the strongholds and drive out the places of evil. She wanted to start praying and walking up and down the neighborhood streets. . . . Chris and I very nearly started jumping up and down (I guess I shouldn't speak for Chris. . ., but that's how I felt). Her friend for some reason was offended by this and got huffy and left her. . . and then we came walking up and praying for people.

We were just in awe. We asked her if she needed prayer for anything. She is disabled. I'm not exactly sure what her physical problems are, but she needs prayer. Her electricity is shut off. She and her sister had a disagreement of some kind and her sister had her utilities shut off. Her brother is in Elkhart General Hospital for heart surgery. She had been to see him today. I brought out my little bottle of anointing oil and a prayer cloth. She was so excited, "PRAYER CLOTHS???!!! AND HOLY OIL!!!" and she just smiled and smiled when she saw it. She had her own, I think she called it holiness oil. She dug around in her purse for a moment and brought out a little 3 or 4 ounce half empty bottle of Pompeii brand olive oil. She said that she often rubs it on her hands and then shakes hands with friends or lays her hand on family members anointing them without their even knowing it. . .It was just so cool. This is a praying praying lady. We anointed the cloth for her brother and prayed with her. Chris thought she was speaking in tongues. My hearing is so bad, lots of times everyone sounds like they are speaking in tongues. . . :) so I don't know. We anointed a cloth for her and prayed a wonderful prayer with her. It was just a blessing meeting this lady. She thought the crosses that Chris and I were wearing on our shirts were very nice. I had an extra one along and I gave it to her.

I told her that if she ever wanted to walk and pray with us that we would be honored to have her join with us, but in any respect we surely craved her prayers joining with ours for the tearing down of strongholds of wickedness and dark places. We said goodbye and told her that we would see her next Thursday night about the same time. This was such a cool thing. . .Thank you my God!!!!

We were well received all up and down the street, with one exception. The same lady who has rejected receiving a flier each week was again out on her front porch doing a jig saw puzzle. I don't know. . . maybe I shouldn't have gone to her porch. I always respect peoples requests not to leave literature, but I made eye contact. I just felt drawn to her and as I started up her steps she, not angrily or bitterly, but firmly said she did not want any literature. I tried to be as very pleasant and friendly as possible in her rejection. I said many prayers for this lady.

We go west on Marion down to Oakland Avenue and then back east on Marion up to Fourth Street, over Fourth to Harrison, west on Harrison down to Oakland and back east on Harrison to our little alley detour, up to Third Street, back down Harrison, across Fourth Street and back to the car on Marion.

We were making our way East on Marion, probably about three quarters the way back to fourth street when Chris began speaking to a man, obviously a workman of some kind, getting out of his truck and carrying a tool box. It looked like he had paint or drywall compound on his pants. I think Chris gave him a flier and a Bible verse card. We then paused and I think we spoke to someone for a minute or two and this man ended up following us up the sidewalk for a little bit. I commented on a house we were passing. It was an older attractive home, a little run down, but with brand new windows in the front. I commented on how someone was putting some money into that place, when the man behind us spoke up. He is the owner of that place and a few other places on the street. . . He began telling us how things are changing in the neighborhood. . .CHANGING FOR THE BETTER. . . Chris and I could hardly believe our ears. . .He talked about things are moving. . .things are improving. . .This man told us how happy he is for our prayers for the neighborhood. The area surely needs them and things are changing for the better. It was tremendous. I felt like God was speaking to us through him. I told him how we have been praying in the MIddlebury Street neighborhood for over two years now and how God had really been doing a wonderful work, how many drug houses have been closed and other good things that have been taking place.

Nothing too spectacular for a while. We finished Marion, went west on Harrison and back east. We were almost done with Harrison when I spotted someone several blocks away who looked a lot like Melissa walking towards us. It was Melissa! It was pretty cool she joined us in a few minutes. She had been walking all day pretty much. She had walked from Aspenwald over to her boyfriends on S.R. 19 and back. I think that must be 5 miles one way. She was just wearing her little flip flops. She showed us her feet and lower legs were almost black from the dust of her walking. She thanked me for letting her walk with us praying these last few weeks. She had had foot problems and this has helped her feet and toughened her up to where she can walk all over without getting tired or her feet sore. She took the fliers and Bible verse cards from me and began handing them out with enthusiasm.

Melissa had not been with us more than five minutes or so, when she asked a lady walking on the sidewalk if she needed prayer for anything. The lady struggled and quivered and fought it for a few moments before just bursting into tears and weeping in Melissa's arms. Her husband and her had recently lost their place to stay and were now living on the street. She just wept and wept. Melissa, Chris, and I joined together and prayed for this lady. We lifted her up to God and asked for Him to make a way, where no way seemed possible. . . .This lady did not ask us for anything. . .she left us to go look for her husband.

Like I said earlier in man's figuring of it, Melissa was quite late to the prayer walk, but she arrived absolutely when she was needed by that lady. . .what a tremendous thing that was to see, the awesome timing of God. . .

It was a wonderful night. Other things. . .other prayers. . .other people. . .Chris and Melissa talked and witnessed to, I don't know maybe 10 boys on bicycles in a backyard by our little alley jaunt. We prayed with a young man and witnessed to him about overcoming depression with worship. . . a little girl testified to us that her arm stopped hurting since we prayed for her last week. . .I can't remember everything, but it was a wonderful night. . .

Dave Stokely

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